Peyton List made her mark in Hollywood at a young age. From 27 Dresses to Jessie and now Cobra Kai — we have either grown up with this talented actor or watched her grow up on our screens. There is truly little doubt about List’s excellence. List now conquers the beauty realm, with her sustainable and playful makeup brand, Pley Beauty. The 24-year-old actor has proven several times that there is little that she can’t achieve. Peyton List now joins Schön! Magazine in an exclusive conversation about Cobra Kai, her nights out and more.
How are you?
I’m good! I’m in an empty room right now as I just got to LA from working in New York all summer. I am moving into a new space — it’s been hectic in the best way.
What were you shooting in New York? Anything you can tell us?
Yeah. The press release just came out. It’s a romance movie for HBO Max [B-Loved] coming out on Valentine’s Day.
You are killing it with Cobra Kai right now, however, my childhood was Jessie. As a fan of the show — I would love to know the story behind your most memorable day on set.
[laughs] That’s a good question. Probably one of the first days because it was so new. I had never worked in LA before. It was my first time filming on a soundstage in Hollywood, it was at Hollywood Center Studios, where they filmed I Love Lucy and all these classic multi-cam
shows. It was pretty intimidating but so exciting. Honestly… looking back at it I view it as intimidating, but as a kid, you’re not intimidated by anything, it’s just so exciting and all play. I don’t think I understood that I was getting paid to do a job. It was just so fun for us and we all became best friends. I think one of the most memorable days was meeting everyone for the first time and screen-testing with them. Realising that these are going to be the people I’m going to be with for the next however long the show goes.
You started your career at a young age. What was the most valuable lesson that Hollywood taught you?
Really soaking everything in and never getting complacent. Always stay passionate and just learn from everyone around me. On every set, I take something away from someone. I didn’t go to college and I just kind of stayed working. I chose that path and kind of made that gamble. I feel like because I have been learning on set and getting that experience, it’s been my own version of whatever school would have been for me.
You have mentioned that you have a closet full of clothes that you take away from your TV shows and Movies. What’s your favourite item in this ‘closet’?
That’s a good question. I mean, what I did love was that any time we referenced any kind of brand, it has to truly be the brand; it can’t be a knock-off version. So any time I am referencing a piece on a show it is truly that and I think that is one of the most fun parts. I love fittings and getting to play dress-up, and I think a lot of the actors dread fittings. I know a lot of the boys on Cobra Kai [don’t like fittings]…. There are a couple that like it. But getting to create that part of the character… I think clothing is such a huge part of it and fashion is such a huge part. I don’t have a specific item that I really loved, but there have been so many beautiful pieces.
Talking about brands — you have your very own makeup brand called Pley Beauty. What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is so much of an attitude, I would say. Just how you are feeling on the inside and reflecting from within, which sounds so cheesy, but I really do believe it. It’s about inner work and just healing from the inside. I guess after doing so much skincare and inner work during COVID… we were kind of developing the brand during that. Then coming out of it [COVID-19], we just wanted to play with colour. Making it clean and sustainable but also just sort of fun.
Who is the person you imagine wearing Pley Beauty?
Just a free spirit. Sort of a person who is willing to take risks and just have fun with beauty — so like just glowy and fun. Honestly, I love going out and dancing. You can have a costume on your face! I love going into costumes and just dressing up. That’s kind of what inspired Pley Beauty.
Talking about dancing and getting dressed up — Is that what your nights out look like?
Yeah, even when I was unpacking things at my house, I was like, “This closet makes no sense.” I’ll just buy things for when I go out with friends. I just want to look kind of crazy [laughs] and wear something super colourful and fun. Just going all out. I think because it is a little bit rarer now that we do get to do it, whenever we do I’m just like, “screw it!”. For my job, I get to play Halloween and dress up all the time, so I would rather make all of the time that.
What is the most experimental outfit that you have worn on a night out?
I had this long clear coat with pink fur on the collar and pink fur at the bottom. I wore it with this leopard playsuit and these thigh-high boots. I put gems on my face, glitter on my face, and just went out dancing. I wore sunglasses too at night. I had so much fun going out and dancing that night.
Have you ever changed any of the characters that you play in real life?
Yeah, sometimes I’m like, “Damn! If she can do it, why can’t I? Shit! I need to channel some of this. ” I definitely do have that, where I’m like, “I need to figure out this situation, I need to have whatever that girl has.” A lot of the time, since Cobra Kai is the most recent, the character on the show is just so fearless. She is willing to spite anyone at any given moment, and I’m just so the opposite of that. I’m like, “I need to channel that right now.”
Talking about Cobra Kai — did you have to learn karate for the role?
Yeah, we have this trainer. I never thought I would ever learn karate. Even when I auditioned, it wasn’t a part of the character. We have trained a lot in the past few seasons with our stunt doubles and stunt coordinators.
Have you used karate in real life yet?
Only on my brothers [laughs] because they were giving me shit when I came home, saying: “No you can’t do any of it! Come on.” I feel like I can actually fight them properly now, which is a dream come true. I’m so much more aware of what’s a weapon now; “oh shoot this shoe can come off and really be a great weapon. I can’t run in these heels… at least I can throw them at someone.” [laughs]
Mentioning your love for skincare and downtime. What does your downtime look like right now?
This morning I went and did yoga. I just like being silent and kind of waking up in heated yoga. I just love it. It’s been a lot of cleaning and organising because I came back from working away for months. I just love purging and getting rid of things and sort of re-evaluating the mess I left behind and the mess that I am bringing back. Just figuring out what’s changed. I’m just travelling so much. I’m about to go to Vancouver for a show for 4 months, so I’m dropping everything here after being here for only like 2 weeks. It’s always just me trying to find the balance and calm whilst still seeing my friends and family while I’m home. But I really just love being around people and eating good food. Just trying to do some face masks and some yoga in between.
How do you stay sane with all this travelling? I feel like I would go crazy if I had to travel that much.
Oh, I do! [laughs] I do lose it. I feel like I used to put on a facade or put a lot of time into whatever it is. At this point, whenever I’m not in character, not having to go for hair and makeup — I’m just completely natural because it just feels so nice. That is why I have to meditate, do yoga, or grounding things to remember to be present. At all moments of the day, I was finding myself pinching myself, saying “this is real you’re here.” Also just check myself and remember to be grateful because this is my dream and what I wanted to do for so long. I was just like, “okay, don’t get so caught up in it that you just get so lost and are no longer present.”
What’s next for you?
I am packing up again to go to the next show that I am doing in Vancouver through November. I’m just planning on that — everything else is unplanned. I’m a pretty spontaneous person. I have a couple of other projects filmed… B-Loved is coming out after that. This feels like a pretty consistent time in my life just because I have jobs lined up. That is a nice feeling because for so long when I was finishing up Jessie and working with Disney, it was like, ‘What do I want to do now?’. It was such an open time. This seems a little more planned.
Cobra Kai season 5 is streaming now on Netflix.